The Republican (ahem!) “Quandary”

Loretta Lynch, President Obama's nominee to be the next attorney general, meets with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-VT, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Toss a coin; is the problem the political reporting or the politics? Consider a lede from Jonathan Weisman and Jennifer Steinhauer for the New York Times:

Senate Republicans bolted for a two-week spring recess with the confirmation of Loretta E. Lynch as attorney general in jeopardy, and themselves in a quandary: Accept a qualified nominee they oppose because she backs President Obama’s policies or reject her and live with an attorney general they despise, Eric H. Holder Jr.

See, that’s pabulum. But, to the other, whence comes it? After all, U.S Attorney Loretta Lynch has seen her nomination to succeed Eric Holder as Attorney General languish, though Senate Republicans are hard pressed to come up with a reason.

But, still, really? This is like a children’s book―And then the poor Senator had to choose …―except, come on, it wouldn’t make any sense even to children.

What are they choosing? To refuse someone they don’t dislike? Because they hate the president? And then be stuck with someone they do dislike? Because they hate the president? What the hell? And that’s the problem with calling this temper tantrum childish. How would you explain it to the child? And, come on, we really shouldn’t insult children by comparing them to Republicans.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, now finds himself in the conundrum that has bedeviled his counterpart in the House, Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio: Members of his party will vote no on Ms. Lynch but hope “yes” — that she will squeak through.

And this is what that all sounds like:

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS): “Perhaps she’ll be confirmed, but she won’t be confirmed with my vote. That’s what my constituents want of me, to make a stand against someone who has basically taken the position that the executive branch has unlimited, almost czarlike powers.”

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC): “The president is clearly going to nominate someone who’s most likely aligned with his policy positions.”

Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV): “I would say it’s probably realistic to think somebody could convince me that they’re going to be more objective about it, yes.”

It is worth noting Capito, who refuses to vote for Ms. Lynch’s confirmation despite having no complaints “in terms of qualifications or personal attributes”. Yet, apparently, she does not think Ms. Lynch is “objective” enough, by which she means what her colleagues mean: How dare an Attorney General nominee not oppose the president!

This is only a question of the votes because Ms. Lynch is estimated to have the votes necessary for conversation. And these are the reasons the Senate will not hold the vote?

Would it be too much to ask that Republicans start making sense?


Weisman, Jonathan and Jennifer Steinhauer. “In Delaying Vote on Loretta Lynch as Attorney General, G.O.P. Is in a Quandary”. The New York Times. 29 March 2015.

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